Sanofi sends letter to Medivation board; claims shareholders want takeover

pharmafile | May 5, 2016 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing CEO, Medivation, Sanofi, board, brandicourt, hostile, shareholders, takeover 

The CEO of Sanofi has issued a strongly worded letter to the board at Medivation, indicating that shareholders support their proposed takeover and that they would approach shareholders directly to have members of the board removed if their bids continued to be rebuffed.

Olivier Brandicourt, chief executive officer at Sanofi, is firm in the company’s commitment to acquire the California-based oncology business. He indicates that, since top shareholders support the takeover, the board at Medivation should immediately engage with what he calls a very reasonable price.

He says: “We believe there is overwhelming support by your shareholders for a transaction. Absent our proposal, we believe that the Medivation shares would be trading in the $30’s (now trading at $59.06)… We believe immediate engagement would be in the best interests of your shareholders as it would enable them promptly to realise substantial and certain value, while minimising the disruption to your organisation. We believe we have offered a fair price, and a very attractive premium.”

Crucially, Brandicourt indicates that Sanofi may be willing to raise its offer, if the Medivation board was prepared to negotiate. He says: “If you engage in good faith discussions with us and demonstrate additional value, we could be in a position to revise our offer.”

He closes the letter with a thinly-veiled warning to the Medivation board that it may be in their own best interests to engage with Sanofi’s process. He adds: “If you are not prepared to engage with us, we have no choice but to go directly to your shareholders… If the Medivation board of directors continues to refuse to engage with us, then we intend to commence a process to remove and replace members of the board.”

With AstraZeneca and Pfizer also said to be contemplating bids for the company, the next few days and weeks will be pivotal for Medivation, as the respective parties plot their next move.

Sean Murray

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